I had been practicing yoga for about two years when I came to a turning point in my journey. I realized I wanted to connect more and take things a step further. I'll confess that I started yoga purely as a way to stay fit. If there were any other happy positive side effects, it would just be an added bonus! As I grew in the practice, I began to feel a sense of calmness on the mat that carried over into my day to day life. I gained a heightened awareness of the world around me and my place in it. Eventually, I became more interested in meditation and the mental and spiritual benefits of yoga.
However, I noticed that certain days it took real effort and (dare I say) work to push myself through class. Sometimes I just felt too tired physically. Other times I felt too tired emotionally. And still other days my mind couldn't shut off and shut up during class. I was becoming too comfortable with where I was physically in the practice and felt that I wasn't reaping as many mental and spiritual benefits as I could. Basically, I needed encouragement.
Back in college a friend gave me a set of homemade angel cards. Little cards with one word affirmations to guide you through your day. I thought of this special gift and decided to bring it to my yoga practice. One word to set my intention. I knew I didn't want any long, complicated phrases to remember and thought that by focusing on the simplicity, and possibilities, of one word I could focus in a more meaningful way. On days when I needed an extra push and wanted to test my limits I chose fiery words of encouragement like strength, determination, or possibility. On days when I needed to take it easy, whether I was a little sore or felt emotionally drained, I chose gentle words like forgiveness, patience or serenity. I focused on my word of the day while on the mat and allowed it to guide my practice, providing the needed inspiration to get me through class. Whenever my thoughts wandered I began internally chanting my one word mantra. Right away I noticed a change in what I put into and got out of my practice. I was enjoying. I was growing.
When I first decided to try out these one word mantras I looked online for a site that would provide daily emails with one inspiring word of the day. I couldn't find one. I looked for an app on my phone that would provide a "power word" at random. I couldn't find one. Once I got over my initial disappointment at not finding a fast and easy solution, I realized I had a wealth of delicious words to choose from that exist in the world that I could think of myself. Still, I was surprised something like this was so difficult to find! I saw an opportunity to share my one word mantras for others to use in their life. Choose one word a day... simple and without lengthy explanations to allow you to explore the word on your own and discover from it what you will, connecting on a more personal level. I hope you enjoy!